Jennifer Trusted's new book argues that metaphysical beliefs are essential for scientific inquiry. The theories, presuppositions and beliefs that neither science nor everyday experience can justify are the realm of metaphysics, literally `beyond physics'. These basic beliefs form a framework for our activities and can be discovered in science, common sense and religion. By examining the history of science from the eleventh century to the present, this book shows how religious and mystical beliefs, as well as philosophical speculation have had a considerable role in motivating scientists and inspiring scientific inquiry.
Physics and Metaphysics presupposes no technical knowledge of either philosophy or science. It is an ideal introduction to science and the important forces that have shaped its history and ideas.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The ordered cosmos; Chapter 2 Old beliefs and new ideas; Chapter 3 Chaos; Chapter 4 The search for a new order; Chapter 5 The grand design; Chapter 6 The age of reason; Chapter 7 The age of experience; Chapter 8 Problems; Chapter 9 Revolution; Chapter 10 Physics and metaphysics;
'I greatly enjoyed this book. As the frontiers of research in physics move out into ever more ambitious and, dare I say, varified territory, so it is all the more important to have the available texts that clarify the philosophical basis of the subject.' - Paul Davies
'Jennifer Trusted has written an interesting account of the relationship between physics and metaphysics in which she has succeeded in an admirable way in drawing together the many philosophical, philosophical and scientific threads without too many snags and tangles. Her account is pitched at a level that does not require an advanced knowledge of either physics or philosophy. It is pleasantly and clearly written, with numerous examples and allusions and helpful summaries.' - Times Higher Education Supplement
'There is plenty in Physics and Metaphysics to stimulate newcomers to the history and philosophy of science, as well as sufficient detail to the case studies for it to serve as a handy reference for those with more acquaintance with the issues. As such, the book is to be recommended as a suitable introduction to the topics of space and time, particularly since the comprehensive referencing provides encouragement for further study, where appropriate.' - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science
'... address topics that intersect both metaphysics and science in ways that ... shed light on their troubled relationship.' - Philosophia